Personally, I adore Disney movies. It’s been fun to relive my childhood now that my children are old enough to enjoy Disney, too. Really, who can resist magic, music, and hopeless romance?
Unfortunately, though, the Disney picture of love can often superimpose itself in our minds over what love actually is. I mean, think about it: how alluring is it to assume that one person can fulfill all of your hopes and dreams? …that there is one person out there who will somehow complete you and make you happy? On the versa of that statement, though, how terrifying and crushing is the expectation of being the very personification of another person’s happiness?
No human can be that for you. Sure, people can make us smile. Interacting with some people can be quite pleasant. And puppy love, with all of it’s butterflies and warmth, is wonderful. But as study after study has shown, that feeling isn’t a lasting one.
Happiness, joy, fulfillment… these words are not synonymous with marriage. Seriously. Stop in your tracks and look around for a minute. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors… are their marriages fairytale-like? I know it’s a bit of a reality check, and I know there are those exceptions to the rule who seem to be deliriously happy all the time… but even with those exceptions, there is much to be seen beyond what meets the eye.
Why is it that, when reality is so readily presented and easily seen, we still choose the delusion?
The truth is simply this: love is not always pretty. Love is often hard and painful. And love is sometimes even lonely. Is it worth it? Maybe. But should we hinge our entire happiness and completeness on this relationship? Most certainly not.
If you are single, dear soul, you are not broken. Please don’t believe that lie. I tell you the truth–some of my happiest days were during my single life, and some of my loneliest moments have been within marriage.
And if you are married and feeling hopeless because the butterflies are gone, don’t dispair. Every phase within marriage is so very different; there will be good years and bad.
Regardless of your relationship status, you cannot find lasting happiness in a person. And when you find yourself discontented either with your significant other or lack thereof, it is my hope that you’ll think back to this post and remember: your fulfillment comes from God. Seek His face and presence. He loves you dearly. In my unhappiest marital days, He has always gently reminded me of His place in my life… and oddly enough, when I focus on Him, everything else tends to sort itself out.
Now, before you leave this post worried about John and I, I feel the need to add that John is truly my best friend. I don’t know that anyone has ever understood me the way he does, and we literally complete each other’s sentences. I have honestly never loved anyone the way I love him. Does he complete me? No. Could I live without him in my life? Probably, though I’d rather not…. who would I tease constantly??? Anyway, I digress.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 14:4-7, NIV